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Our first egg, chook was with a cockerel!

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Our Buff Sussex has been laying eggs, we got her from out of a breeding pen, so we are hoping the eggs are fertile.


My dad has an incubator and we are going to try to hatch them, I was told to try all her eggs for a week, after that the eggs may not be fertile anymore. Is this correct?


Do I lay them on their side in the incubator or do they need to be sitting upright?


Also, if we are lucky enough to get one hatched, how can you tell if it is a male or female?

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Hi Kim,


Before you even start, have a think about what you might do if the egg you hatch does turn out to be a male chick. Cockerels are notoriously hard to rehome and you can't keep them in urban or suburban areas. If you can keep males, fine, go for it but if there's any doubts, please think carefully first. Also you need to have plans in place if you do hatch as you need separate accommodation for the chicks as they may end up being killed by your grown up hens. If you have a broody hen, you can hatch the eggs under her but she'll need to be kept away from any other hens you have until the chicks are quite big.

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